Meanwhile, in the ranks of the Guardians, Osiris’ teachings would not go without having any impact still. Saint-14 was not the only one who was seemingly obsessed with the old Warlock master and having heard of the power of the Vex from his teachings, there were others that sought to fight against this terrible foe. And it was then that 3 Guardians known as Praedyth, Pahanin and Kabr the Leigonless would attempt to enter the Vault of Glass and defeat the terrifying Vex presence within. However, they severely, underestimated the power of the Vex’s defenses within the vault, which despite seeming like nothing more than a large cave network, was in fact, a giant fortress, and the site of some of their greatest experiments with time. Within the time streams, they could do more than simply destroy the Guardians with their immense firepower. They could manipulate time as a weapon. The Guardians faced what were known as the Oracles in the Vault, Vex supercomputers capable of isolating an individual within time. And unless they asserted dominance over it, removing them entirely. Understand that this means you don’t simply die: to be found wanting by an Oracle, to be stunned by the ritual of negation, is to have never existed at all. Such was the power of the Vex in the Vault. In the face of such power, the Guardians were helpless. The Hunter Pahanin fled, and the Warlock Praedyth was locked deep in the confines of the Vault, lost in its timestream. However, it was Kabr the Legionless who would face the most gruesome fate of all. Kabr would drink of the Radiolaria of the Vex Oracles, and this meant that his body slowly began to be corrupted as he himself was changed into the Vex. He would lose control over his body and brain, and before they took him entirely, Kabr forged a mighty shield known as the Aegis. It is into this shield that he poured all of his Light, so that if other Guardians might come through the Vault. They might have s source of power that could be used to break the Vex’s hold over time. The first raid on the Vault of glass was a failure, and Kabr the Legionless was no more. But this would not be the last adventure that the Guardians would see in the Vault of glass.
Meanwhile, in the city, factional differences within the Consensus were beginning to intensify, and Lysander, the leader of the fraction known as the Concordat, declared war upon the Vanguard and the Speaker. Although his reasons for doing so are not well-recorded or understood. This upheaval lead to a final confrontation between the New Monarchy and the Concordat in the tower that is known as Bannerfall, and this effectively ended their membership of the consensus and their general part in the City’s life. In their place, another fraction known as the Future War Cult was promoted to the rank of full Consensus member. Around this time, the Consensus records also make the first real mention of Lord Shaxx and his Crucible. The objective of which was simply to allow Guardians to train by fighting each other. Guardians had long had a habit of fighting and settling differences through combat, but Shaxx’s Crucible formalized the practice, and acted as a tempering flame to the blade that was the young Guardians entering the ranks that had so recently been filled with heroes. The Crucible, over time, became more and more engraved in the City’s culture, and eventually, became a televised sport within the City. With residents placing bets and supporting their favorite Guardians or clan-based teams with incredible vigor, just as one might support any other sporting team today. The games lead to a sense of honor and chivalry for most, because even as the Guardians fought each other, they made each other stronger in the process. But that strength would still not be enough to stop the most aggressive of adversaries. It had been some time since the attack om Twilight Gap and the Fallen had not made another assault on the City in some time. However, this was not to say that the Fallen weren’t still a menace. Long prior to Twilight Gap, the wilds were haunted by the whispers of a Fallen mercenary called Taniks, the Scarred, who was a gun for hire amongst the Fallen, one who would pursue Targets in particular at the behest of those who could pay a handsome price. A mercenary through and through , but a devious one, with a mean streak and a habit for destroying Guardians entirely. After encountering him in the field, the Hunter Andal Brask and his close friend Cayde-6 made what would be known as the Vanguard Dare. The first one to kill Taniks would be rewarded with renown and fame, the loser would fill the Hunter’s Vanguard position. A most onerous task for a Hunter that desires freedom and the ability to explore. Cayde went on to win the contest, killing Taniks, but the problem was that Cayde had not simply killed a being of mortal flesh. Taniks was more mechanical than biological, and every death would simply mean his reconstruction. In time, Taniks would find vengeance, and some time after the Fallen had been served their bitter deafeat at Twilight Gap. Taniks would serve vengeance by slaughtering Andal Brask. Feeling guilt and responsibility for not having been able to kill Taniks, Cayde took the place of the Hunter Vanguard in Andal’s stead.
The loss of the Hunter’s Vanguard could have been a different to the consensus and the FOTC generally. But perhaps emboldened by the City’s dominant position, or be living with hubris that they could reclaim the glory of the Golden Age. They set their sights on a grand military goal: when the first men landed on the moon in the twentieth century, they marked themselves as true pioneers of humanity and human civilization. For better or for worse, the Consensus sought to emulate their forebears, and sought to reclaim the moon from the Hive. Some would call it brave. The wise would call it madness. Lord Shaxx, having faced the Hive and the might of their swords before, would inform the Consensus in no uncertain terms of the mistake that they were making. Pleading with them to call off the attack after witnessed their power at another, smaller skirmish known as the Battle of the burning lake. The consensus, however, was unmoved, and the expeditionary army was approved. The city gathered together the first and last army of Guardians to serve on a mass offensive against the alien force in Sol. Over a thousand Guardians journeyed to the moon and touched down with the intent to claim it from the Hive by force. However, in spite of the might of over a thousand Guardians being present on the moon’s surface. The banners of the Cormorant Seal would meet stern resistance from the Hive. Whilst gains were made at first, and whilst some prisoners were even captured, the Guardians were stopped by an unbreakable champion of the Hive. A terrible demon wreathed in green flame, wielding a sword that cracked the surface of the moon with every sing. It was here that the Battle of Mare Imbrium would be fiercest, and it was here that the Guardians would first face Crota, the Eater of hope, the Son of Oryx. His counter-assault on the Guardian forces was so vicious and complete that it is better remembered as butchery. The Guardian forces had to pull back, having lost many of their number, and so the Battle of Mare Imbrium ended in crushing defeat. As the beleaguered Guardian forces fled the moon’s surface, they left behind many dead. And would forever remember the failed assault on the moon by a terrible, different name. They would remember it as the Great Disaster.
The aftermath of this calamitous event was far-reaching and tragic. But there is one tragedy that rises to prominence above all the others: the tragedy that rises to prominence above all the others: the tragedy of Eriana-3 and Wei Ning. Eriana-3 was a Warlock of the Praxic order, and at Mare Imbrium, she had lost her lover, Wei Ning, a mighty Titan warrior, who at the hands of Crota had been slain. Wishing for revenge, Eriana sought a means by which she could assail the Hive and destroy Crota. But she would not receive any assistance from the City, following their terrible defeat, as the Consensus suspended all cisluna Guardian operations, and stated that any to step onto the moon’s surface did so alone. Eriana’s vengeance would have to be attained another way. She was joined in her struggle by a Hunter of the Hidden, a mysterious organization run by Ikora Rey. This Hunter was Eris Morn, and she too was hellbent on avenging those who had fallen to Crota’s blades on the surface of the moon. Together they knew that in order to defeat their enemy, they needed to understand them, and if they expected any success in this matter, they needed to find someone who knew the Hive better than most. And so it was that they sought out the exiled Warlock master of Hive arcana. They sought out Toland, the Stattered One. His exile was originally due to his heretical beliefs and his adoption of the Hive’s very own Sword Logic as his core values. He believed that the Darkness would be victorious with this simpler, more effective logic of battle. And with Toland at their side, a team began to form. Eris, Toland and Eriana were joined by 2 Hunters, known as Omar Agah and Sai Mota, and a mighty Titan of the Pilgrim Guard known as Vell Tarlowe. Together the fireteam would assemble and assault the Hellmouth and take the fight to the Hive. 6 of them would go down into the pit, seeking revenge for those they’d lost, or seeking power locked deep within the Hive fortress. Vell Tarlowe was defeated by a mass of Thralls that swarmed over him, and though the Thrall were weak individually, as a horde they tore the Titan limb from limb. Sai Moto was lost at the hands of Omnigul, the Will of Crota, and the mother of his spawn. Eris was the last to see Omar Agah, who had been captured and broken by the Hive, suffering possibly a worse fate than death. For his Light was torn from him like flesh from bone, and was fed to a new generation of Crota’s Spawn. He died in agony so unimaginable that only in the cruel minds of the Hive could it even be contemplated. Eriana-3 and Toland made it down into the stills at the very bottom of the Hellmouth, and even made it into Crota’s Ascendant Realm, the Oversoul Throne. It was here, in the apex of Crota’s power, that Toland showed his true colors. He conversed with the Deathsinger Ir Yut, and his curiosity to understand her death’s song was met with a culling. He was stricken from his mortal body by her power, and his soul was loosed into the Ascendant Realm, where he would wander. He was stricken from his mortal body by her power, and his soul was loosed into the Ascendant Realm, where he would wander the Sea of Screams, much to his delight. Much to his interest. Then, it was only Eriana who stood before the power of the Hive Prince. Her death is not recorded, but it is assumed without a doubt that she perished. This left only one. Eris Morn. Eris, who was now deep in the Hellmouth, and who had lost her sight and her Ghost. She should have died at the hands of the Hive, and yet, she went on and survived, and stole back her sight using the eyes of an Acolyte as her own. And for hundreds of years, she dwelled in the depths of the Hellmouth. With the loss of Mare Imbriam and the failure of the first fireteam to defeat Crota’s forces. The City descended, once again, into an age where Darkness seemed very palpable and very terrifying. The forces of the enemy pressed in around us, and the once great power that had radiated from the Guardians had started to wane. The City held its breath as the last tower stood in defiance of the night. Tales once told to frighten children slowly stopped, as the children were frightened anyway. And in the hour of great Darkness that had descended upon us, something glimmered. It was not something that the city was unused to, but it was something that it had forgotten. Hope. Hope would find us. And that hope was you.